Move With Grace Dance Studio Cambridge |Students on Canadian World Hip Hop Team 2011

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Dancers compete in Austria

Ray Martin, Times Staff

September 1, 2011

Three city dancers have earned the right to represent Canada in international competition in Austria this fall.

Annie Bailey, Rebekha Lutz and Axel Villamil, members of Move with Grace Dance Studio, are heading to Graz, Austria, Oct. 10-17 to compete in the hip-hop world championships. The Cambridge contingent on the 17-member team will also include former Move with Grace instructor Nick Tull, who has been named choreographer for the Canadian team.

The trio had to beat out 140 other Team Canada hopefuls from across Ontario and Quebec to win a place on the team. That competition started in April and the team members only found out if they had made the cut earlier this month, Lutz said.

In the Austrian competition, the 17 dancers will all have to dance in formation acting as one, where one false move can make the difference between winning and losing. They will also compete in either singles or in pairs.

“It’s really hard because you don’t know what music they are going to be playing. You just have to improvise as you go along and pray they play something you know,” she said.

Lutz and Bailey will be teaming up in a duet for the competition, so not only will they have to improvise, they will also have to work in unison with each other.

Several weeks ago the trio were involved in a gruelling week of training.

“It was incredibly intense,” Bailey said. “As tough as anything I’d done until now. I felt it all over.”
In order to practice they had to take time off from their summer jobs.

“I work at Best Buy. They were really good about it. I told them what I was doing and they gave me the whole week off,” Villamil said.

Bailey and Lutz were also able to get time off work, but next week all three will have to juggle school studies with their jobs and practicing for the competition.

While the girls will be attending high school, the challenge is a little more daunting for Villamil as he is starting classes at the University of Toronto.

The Canadian hip-hop team will have several weekend tune-ups before heading to Austria, where they will be competing against as many as 90 teams representing countries that are part of the International Dance Organization (IDO). This is the dance world’s answer to the Olympics, according to the Canadian National Dance Organization’s website.

We all love to dance and we love to compete,” Bailey said. “We want to make Cambridge proud.”–dancers-compete-in-austria